R&B Fridays: Episode 59

Busy, busy day to blame for the delay on this. That, and the fact I forgot I do these. Woops. Anywho, I’ve more than made up for it by throwing in some massive names this week, including  Ne-Yo, Trey Songz, Johnta Austin and many more. Enough delaying, click below and get stuck into the good stuff.

Jermaine Dupri-I Heard ‘Em Say
-I’m going to start with some non-R&B, just to get it out of the way. Dupri’s not really considered hip-hop enough to warrant his own post, and seeing as he’s normally involved with R&B tracks this sort of makes sense. Putting a different spin on Seven Nation Army (Indi: think Switzerland!) and taking out the ‘rockier’ elements, Dupri drops off a pretty catchy track that could make some moves.

Marques Houston-Operator
-Some smoothed out soulful vibes from Marques on this one, bringing some silky vocals along with a mellow production that will relax you instantly. Enjoying the track immensely and there’s more than a hint of Robin Thicke on this one, with the soft vocals and acoustic-style production. Not one to miss out on.

Ne-Yo-Hurt Me
-Uptempo vibes from Ne-Yo, a style he really doesn’t do enough. There’s no question that he’s up there with the best when it comes to uptempo beat selection and vocals, but he avoids doing it often-maybe it makes us appreciate the occasions on which he does do it a little more. This is another example of that ability, with a pulsating beat providing a capable backdrop for some nice work from Ne-Yo both with the pen and the voice.

Sarah Green-Dirty Rose ft. Lupe Fiasco
-Worry not, I’m aware Indi’s already posted this. It’s just the final, mastered version for you audiophiles and DJs to enjoy.

Sean Garrett-Feel Love ft. Drake
-Sorry about the DJ tags, but I had to post this simply because I’ve criticised Garrett so much in recent months without showing you why I was so disappointed-this song shows you just what he can really do. It’s very good and displays just how good Sean can be in this R&B lane when he actually sings and doesn’t do the hip-hop style that does him no favours. The production is progressive, gentle and captivating whilst Garrett’s lyrics and vocals are uplifting and really addictive. Please Sean, keep doing this.

Mohombi-Miss Me ft. Nelly
-First I’ve heard of this guy, but I’m assured he’s going to be a big deal. He’s the first signing to super-producer RedOne’s label, and is in a joint deal with Universal-not bad! He’s pretty much your typical mainstream act, with a heavy pop influence and generally inoffensive/unadventurous style. This uptempo jam should go down well with chart fans for sure.

Teairra Mari-Coins ft. Mavado
-Somewhere between hip-hop and R&B, as Mari adopts a hybrid of rapping and singing on this one. Decent enough effort, without really breaking any boundaries or surprising anyone. Feeling this Mavado feature though, he fits this production style perfectly and drops off a nice hybrid style verse of his own.

Johnta Austin-It’s Your Turn
-There’s one thing I like more than getting new music from Johnta: listening to new music from Johnta. He has a habit of making the production on a track utterly irrelevant, as his voice just smooths out any track and chills you out. Having said that, this is quite a lively production by his standards with some heavy drops in the verses complimented nicely by some perky elements in the chorus. Really well-rounded effort with a nice hook.

Bei Maejor-Boxers
-From Bei’s ǝpısdn uʍop mixtape (heh), he cements his rapidly-growing reputation with a good slow jam that is a mixture of funny and clever. It’s definitely entertaining lyrically either way, and one to check out to get you ready for that upcoming mixtape.

Nina Sky-Only You (Take Me Away) ft. Kidz In The Hall
-Massively unexpected collabo! Looks like the Nina Sky comeback is well and truly on, with the duo following up last week’s superb track with an uplifting effort that shows some impressive variety against the aforementioned track. Some light electro influences on the production in the hook are supplemented well by relaxing melodies in the verses, whilst they do a good job on the vocals. Really diggin’ Naledge’s verse on this, coming through with a quick flow that flies in the face of the slower verses from the ladies.

Soulja Boy-First Day of School
-Hahahahahaha. Download it for a few laughs!

Omarion-Got To Let Me Know
-Feel a bit sorry for Omarion. He really should be up there with the top R&B stars, but he’s sort of languishing in the middle of nowhere doing a whole lot of nothing. He’s got the tools to really be something special, as this song evidences: great vocals throughout, especially on the hook where his passionate delivery is admirable.

Trey Songz-Scratchy ft. Swizz Beatz
-Again, sorry about the tags but you’d rather have it than not have it right? One of those slightly disorienting Swizzy productions that you could go either way with (think It’s Me Bitches or Money In The Bank), this is definitely a club-oriented jam that I’m alright with . Swizzy’s production style makes me think that this could be quite old, but you never know.

Frankie J-Why Do You
-Slow, slow jam from Frankie. Real lyrical affair here, held together by nothing more than a few clicks and piano licks in the verses. Pretty good display of his vocal talents therefore, and you should look no further if you’re after a good old slow jam.

Pretty Ricky-Cookie Cutter
-This is a difficult one. The first few seconds made me think it was going to be some rubbish Gucci Mane type track, but it blossoms into something half-decent. It’s really, really close to being pop, and sort of puts me off as it’s a bit cheesy. If you’re into the teen-pop sound, you’ll definitely enjoy this. I’m a soul-head by nature, so I can’t really call this one.

Ne-Yo-Laying Around
-Now this? This I can call. I call it utterly superb. A soft, guitar-based production complements Ne-Yo’s voice about as well as I’ve heard any production work with it, and offers a really well-rounded listening experience. I can’t imagine there would be many R&B fans who wouldn’t appreciate this lyrically either (especially on the memorable hook), and this has to go down as one of Ne-Yo strongest tracks. Top work.

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